Amityville
ghosts, The Unexplained

Revisiting Amityville 45 years later…

Happy Halloween! This month’s blog post is coming a little earlier in order to celebrate this unholy holiday.

Last year I read Jay Anson’s Amityville Horror: A True Story around Halloween. I listened to the audiobook during my commute, because I thought it would be the perfect story to get me in the holiday season.  At the time, I wasn’t crazy about it. I thought the writing was a little stilted, and the plot was far too outlandish to be within the realm of possibility.  However, I’d had no idea of the context in which this book was published. I’d had no idea that this book was originally marketed as a literally “true” story…

There has been intense debate over the last 30 years as to whether or not the Amityville horror is a hoax or the most prolific and notorious haunting that the world has ever seen.  Most of the information I have about the case comes from a riveting documentary called “The Real Amityville Horror”. It’s a 2005 documentary by Nobles Gate Production.  They interview many of the people involved, which adds an authentic personal touch.  I highly recommend watching it.  It’s spooky and informative and not a bad way to spend a cool autumn evening.

Amityville

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Image of a train
The Unexplained, writer

The Case of the Missing Mystery Author: How Agatha Christie Disappeared for 11 Days

Image of Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie 1890-1976

Everyone has heard of Agatha Christie.  She wrote during the golden age of detective fiction, and she’s been crowned as the Queen of the Cozy Mystery.  She’s written at least 74 books, including “Murder on the Orient Express”, “And then there were none”, and “Death on the Nile”.  But there’s one mystery that she didn’t write.  Instead, she lived it.  

On December 3, 1926, Agatha Christie went into her seven-year-old daughter Rosalind’s bedroom in their home in Berkshire, England, and she kissed her on the cheek goodnight.  Then, she got into her car and drove away.  She wouldn’t be discovered for another ten days.  Not only did she go missing for ten days, but when she was found, she claimed to have absolutely no memory of where she’d been or what she’d done.  

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The blob movie scenes
The Unexplained

My Blob Post

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve decided to deviate from my typical library and book-related theme. Much to my delight, horror movies have been playing on some TV channels around the clock. I’ve been reading The Amityville Horror, a book which inspired a classic movie and a whole slew of lame sequels. The book, however, just so happens to be based on a true story. A lot of horror movies are based on true stories: The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, The Girl Next Door, The Conjuring… But there’s one movie that’s based on a true story that you wouldn’t expect. This is a real head scratcher. The film is the 1958 B-movie, “The Blob”.

Image of "The Blob" movie poster
“The Blob” by BigdogLHR CC BY 2.0

For those of you who have never seen it, the movie is about a a strange “blob” that falls out of outer space, but it doesn’t just sit there. It oozes around, consuming people, and, of course, getting bigger. The movie stars Steve McQueen in his first leading role. This isn’t a review of the movie, so I’ll just link to this trailer for “The Blob”, and you can watch it for yourself if you’re interested, before I tell you the “true” story.

Now, how can a movie about a killer “blob” be based on a true story? Let me tell you…

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